Hum. I am a little perplexed by these two reports from the BBC. This one is about the shortage of Head teachers and this one is about that fact that we no longer need Head teachers. You will note immediately that they both have the same picture which seems to indicate that you can always recognise your Head, not by his grey suit, but by the fact that (s)he carries a sandwich at all times.
Now the situation seems quite confusing:
Are we short of Head teachers? Well, the NASUWT (who represent the teachers) say that when they last looked
"...up to half a million pupils in England's schools were without permanent head teachers..."
but as the DES (who are ultimately responsible for most of the schools) points out, this means that
"Less than 1% of schools at any one time will have a head vacancy and even then there will always be an acting or temporary head in place."
and while the GTC (who represent the teachers but in Not Quite The Same Way) predicts that
"... four out of 10 vacancies will be unfilled by 2011..."
the NCSL (who train the Heads) say it's OK because
"We are entering a new era in school leadership, which is challenging the long-held assumption that every school needs its own head teacher. In future school leadership may not be about just leading individual institutions, but about working in the wider system, although often still having one school as a base."
but the NAHT (who represent the Heads), say that the NCSL's report is
So, a tentative conclusion: we do actually need more Heads.